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News Roundup: Jeremy Affeldt, Brett Tomko Sign

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There isn't any huge news today, but there are a couple of minor - and pretty similar - signings of veteran pitchers. I'll try to have a bigger article posted sometime tomorrow.

-P- First, the Royals signed Brett Tomko for one year and a guaranteed $3 million. Tomko was horrible in 2007 and not much better in 2006, and it's unlikely he'll post an ERA under five as he moves to a tougher league and a tougher park. He was pretty decent in 30 innings of relief in 2006, so maybe there's still some hope that he could become an asset out of the 'pen, but the Royals are probably hoping he can help the back end of their rotation. It's tempting to criticize the Royals when a much better pitcher - Jon Lieber - signed with the Cubs this week for only $3.5 million guaranteed, but as we all know, it's not necessarily easy for a team in the Royals' position to sign free agents.  

-P- I like the Reds' agreement with Jeremy Affeldt on a one-year, $3 million deal a bit better. Like Tomko, Affeldt has been as frustrating as he is talented, but Affeldt is six years younger than Tomko, and he actually pitched pretty well last season for the Rockies. Affeldt's performance record suggests he can be a decent reliever, but as with Tomko, Affeldt may well be used as a starter. After Bronson Arroyo and the excellent Aaron Harang, the Reds' best options are youngsters (Edinson Volquez and Homer Bailey) and mediocrities (Matt Belisle, Bobby Livingston), so Affeldt is pretty likely to soak up innings in the rotation even if he doesn't break camp there.